Friday, July 27, 2012

(Atti)Tone, In Pictures and In Words

In Chapter 10 of In Pictures and In Words we are asked to consider tone. How an author and illustrator say something can be just as important as what they are saying. Though I have never said, "Don't use that tone of voice with me!" I have, on more than one occasion said, "Don't take that attitude with me!" So it is easier for me to think of an author/illustrator taking on a certain attitude.

How does an author illustrator give an attitude about their work and how can we help our students take on those writing "tudes"?

Technique 32 helps us help children understand tone/tude by using color. I will use the book The Lengend of Sleeping Bear by Kathy-jo Wargin illustrated by Gijsbert van Fankenhuyzen to show what color does. In the beginning of the book the bear family is happy and content wandering through birch-lined forests. Later in the book we feel sadness not only from the text, but also from the purple and blue hues the illustrator chooses. There is a golden hue through much of the book giving a hopefulness to the story. This is a very bittersweet story based on the legend of how the Sleeping Bear Dunes and their islands were formed. 

When thinking about Technique 33 I thought of the same book as I used with 32. The beginning of the book is light, airy, happy. The middle of the story is void of light. There is great darkness and despair. The ending brings both feelings together in a conclusion that brings a certain hope.

I can't share any pictures, but Mo Willems is a master of using Technique 34. In his pigeon books you know what kind of attitude pigeon has by looking at the color of the background. When pigeon is angry the background is RED! 

The Little House...Yes, AGAIN!  The changing attitude of the house reveals itself in how the illustrator changes the size of the house as the house's attitude becomes more and more undervalued. What a relief it is when at the end the house has a new attitude and is restored to its proper size! I will love using this book to show Technique 35:  Crafting Tone with Size.

I adore this book by George Ella Lyon and illustrated by Peter Catalanotto. Mother to Tigers is a picture book about Helen Martini who was the Bronz Zoo's first woman zookeeper. She said, "Every day is just like Christmas. Anything can happen." It sounds a little like our jobs, doesn't it? The illustrator uses whimsy and color to lighten the mood in the beginning when we learn that Helen and her husband, Fred lost their first baby and were unable to have more. That's heavy stuff for kids, but the illustrator lightens their load with this picture...

The dog and cat in conversation are just the right whimsy to lighten the readers load!

It is hard to believe we have one week left of this study. It has been such a pleasure studying with you all. I look forward to following your every day adventures. Thank you, Mrs. Jump for hosting this week! You can find out more about this subject by clicking on her button!


  1. I love your choices of books. They are always so eclectic and cool. I can tell you feel just as I do about this book...powerful, huh?

    ✰ Kimberley ✰
    First in Maine

    1. Very powerful! I've gotten so much that I can use for first graders and 8th graders studying this. I'm excited to implement this in the fall.

  2. I love Pigeon books! Thanks for sharing some new titles too!


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